Naked Gun Creator Not Excited About Liam Neeson Reboot

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

Did we know we needed a Naked Gun reboot? Regardless, Liam Neeson is set to star in a soft reboot of the 1980s classic, co-starring with Pamela Anderson. But one of the franchise’s original creators, David Sucker, voiced disinterest and skepticism about the project in a candid TMZ interview. The original mastermind of the first Leslie Nielsen-led film was shocked and disappointed in the direction Paramount decided to go with the remake.

Zucker co-created the iconic film with his brother, Jerry, and Jim Abrahams. It’s a true-blue comedy classic. The reboot, slated for a Jully 11, 2025 release, has big shoes to fill.  

The Naked Gun Creators Pitched Their Own Version

To hear Zucker tell it, he and his current collaborators, Pat Proft and Mike McManus, pitched a script to Paramount way back in 2018; they heard through the grapevine that the Paramount corporate staff sincerely enjoyed their work on the Naked Gun remake. But Paramount abruptly and surprisingly took a different course, opting for a separate screenplay and screenwriters. 

“We are not excited about having the franchise given to other people,” Zucker confessed. Combining disbelief and resignation, he went on: “At the time, I couldn’t believe it because we thought we had a great script, and they loved it from what we heard. I don’t have any control over it.

The Original Is A Comedy Classic

Many fans are right to ask: how can this soft reboot possibly compete with the original film, which revolved around Leslie Nielsen’s incredible performance? Critics, comedy geeks, and classic film fans all agree that The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad is a stone-cold classic.

Leslie Nielsen’s Comedy Masterclass

Nielsen’s portrayal is a masterclass in comic timing, understatement, and parodying a genre—in this case, the detective genre. The performance feels connected to Nielson’s in Airplane, which makes sense: the plot of the original film occurred to Zucker only after shelving plans for Airplane II. Nielson was a Canadian actor and comedian unparalleled in his use of deadpan delivery; he appeared in over 100 films and countless television shows.

Liam Neeson Is An Odd Pick, But Also The Perfect Choice

liam neeson conor mcgregor

Liam Neeson is obviously a surprising choice for the lead, given his reputation as an action hero from the Taken franchise. Perhaps this casting choice for The Naked Gun remake could provide a refreshing twist, making the best of his serious persona through self-deprecation and on-the-nose humor. If so, such a performance as Frank Drebin Jr. would perfectly follow that of Leslie Nielson, who, before turning to comedy, was also a serious and dramatic actor for decades.  

Helmed By A Lonely Island Founder

Fans might be happy to know Schaffer, a comedian known for his work on Hot Rod and Popstar: Never Stop Stopping, will direct the rebootHe will team up with writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, who previously collaborated on 2022’s Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers.

This should come as good news for Naked Gun fans, mainly because Schaffer has demonstrated talent. He has carved out a niche for himself through his distinctive style, combining sharp absurdist comedy with major viral success. As a member of The Lonely Island, he shot to fame making globally popular YouTube videos before graduating to Saturday Night Live and, later, feature films. 

Given his presence, comedy fans should feel a little less depressed, and if it helps, keeping with franchise tradition, one major cameo has been announced already as WWE Champion Cody Rhodes will appear in the Naked Gun reboot.